When it is cold, people spend more time indoors. As they gather, music seems to play a vital role in their quiet time, celebrations, and family cultures. As Chanukah has passed and Christmas approaches, I’ve thought about this quite a bit. My question is, why is music so important to many of us at this time of year?
Higher level animals make sounds as part of their communication systems. These emanations are warnings, calls to their families and potential mates, and serve as locators. Human beings developed the ability to create organized sounds through speech, and the rhythms became an important part of their communication process as well. There must have been something intensely satisfying to the first humanoids to insist on recreating these sounds.
Take a moment to close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Now, hum a little bit. Do you feel it rumble in your chest, right near your heart? Now, hum your favorite song for a few bars. Are you transported to a higher level of happiness as you do this? Most of us are. These sounds surround our heart, fill our chests, and heighten our minds awareness. They cause our bodies to produce a chemical reaction that gives us pleasure.
When we join together to sing or listen to music, the collective happiness grows exponentially. Our voices, hearts, and ears are working together to unite us and remind us of the precious gifts we have. If we do the same things we did earlier, only together, we will see how much better it can be. Take someone you love, hold them, close your eyes, and hum a song you like together. The intimacy is intense; the joy fulfilling.
During the holidays, we raise our voices together in celebration of God’s promise and His gifts. As the Festival of Lights shows us, we are sustained here on Earth through the miracles of resources we never imagined possible. In Christmas, we find the birth of unimaginable love. In one another, we are reminded of the same gifts.
So, this holiday season, join together to sing or listen to music. Remember the hum of your heart and spirit as the music envelopes you. May God bless you and keep you and your loved ones happy and safe this holiday season and throughout the coming new year.